Monday, November 30, 2009

A 2009 NaNoWriMo Winner is Me!

I hit the 50,000 mark sometime last night at about 10:30pm one day from the finish line of NaNoWriMo. For those of you who have no clue what I'm talking about, I can direct you here:

As I said in my last post, this has been more than just about making it to 50,000. I've written nearly twice as much in this month alone than I have in the entire year of 2009 and that's something I want to celebrate.

NaNo is always about a personal battle and mine felt more like an old war that just never ended. I suffered from lack of confidence and spirit due to harsh critics and even harsher self-erosion which had built up over a long period of time. The last time I had ever been excited about writing without worrying what it looked like or sounded like was back when I was writing the old author's nightmare fanfiction and before that Pika's Tale and way way way before that my first ever (horrors!) 14-year-old novel that I never finished due to the family computer crashing and voiping most of my childhood writings and schoolwork. All this to say this wasn't an easy thing for me. There were two major times I thought about giving up. I was at least 10,000 or more behind and I didn't think I could do it.

I'm so glad I proved myself wrong.

I feel like my writer's block is finally cured. It wasn't lack of ideas that was keeping me from writing, it was literally something telling me that I couldn't write, that I shouldn't write and that it didn't matter even if I did write.

I'm here to tell you if you have something like that stopping you, the voice is bullshit! Some people call it their "inner editor" others their "personal demons" but you know what I think? In the end it's just my own selfish pride. I think that I have to be successful with whatever I write to make it worth something and that's complete bull! You know why? Because writing isn't about making money or becoming famous, or even getting people to like you. I know because I've heard it from my favorite writers' own mouths. Writing is for expressing yourself and sharing your love of storytelling, of reading, and imagination. These are precious gifts and because every person in this universe has a unique voice, they are all valued. They are all needed. This is what NaNoWriMo reminded me. Thank God for it.

So I leave NaNo behind with this novel of mine. (I'm still writing as of this post. I haven't gotten to the end yet, but I project it to be about another 10,000 words at most.) No it's not award-winning, but I had a blast with it and now there's a hell of a lot to do. I've started making some rewrite notes and I'll probably start into that after a few days of distance from it. I'm hoping to finish today so I can take the first week of December off and just chill for a bit. I've earned it.

To anyone who wants the challenge, I urge you to do NaNo next year - or if you're a screenwriter-y type, try Script Frenzy in April. My dear friend Chris will be write there beside you.

God Bless and I hope everyone had as good of a November as I had. I'll be remembering it for years to come as an poignant chapter in my life.

- /^>

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

NaNoWriMo Ate My Soul...

... and I liked it! :O

For those of you unfamiliar with NaNo, I suggest visiting their website:
But basically what it boils down to is a writing challenge for the month of November. Write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.

I can't begin to describe what this month has been for me. I've written more now in the last 23 days than I have the entire year so far. I'm writing again and I'm making progress. I've begun to heal from my "Inner Editor" (as we say on the NaNo Forums) and all the biting remarks that had I let stop me from doing what I loved. It's been a time of growth, and it's been a long road to 50,000. I'm currently in another valley as life has gotten in the way with working overtime at my job (which pulled me away from updating here consequently!), my volunteer work, and my new living situation with my little sister. Through it all I have never given up although I've thought about it many times. I'm going to make it to 50,000. I need to do it, for myself, to prove my inner editor wrong and to banish the scars that have haunted me since the last holiday season. Through this month I've rediscovered the joy of writing, especially just making things up as I go along and enjoying the discovery that my imagination provides. Rewriting is for when you have something complete to work with. This doesn't mean I don't have an idea of where I want to go, but now I'm letting the characters speak for themselves, and that is a joy all in itself when they say (or do!) something that surprises me.

The author pep talks have been very helpful as well. I was more than pleased to see many of my favorite authors writing encouraging letters. It's so good to hear they all struggle with the same problems we do and that it is possible to overcome them.

My daily writing habits have been reestablished now and I'm looking forward to returning to Lambent and company after I finish my NaNo science fiction novel, which is currently titled: "Rad Savage Wins Against the Universe (Sometimes)" .

I'll post more about it here, including a full update on December 1st with the final tally and results of NaNoWriMo. The funny thing is though, I've already won. I'm writing again, and I couldn't be happier than I am right now.

- Joanie /^>